Saturday, April 30, 2011
"...for you are the sunshine-maker of the family, and if you get dismal there is no fair weather."
-Marmee to Meg, "Little Women"
Dear, beloved, Motherly advice given to a first daughter struggling to juggle her duties of new motherhood to twins, keeping a home and being a loving wife. I read this and go on to the next sentence, but it calls me back. I read it again and again and ponder. The sunshine-maker of the family. Hmmm. I've heard of the man being the head of the house, but the woman as the sunshine-maker? I haven't heard of this before and it makes me stop. But, it's the 2nd half of the timely advice that goes deep...and if you get dismal there is no fair weather.
Sun shines in all it's glory and brings beauty and golden light that illuminates all that stand in it's path. Warmth and sustenance, life is made possible with sunshine. New shoots spring from soil and grow and flourish in sunshine. Planets revolve around sun, keeping them in perfect alignment. Tides ebb and flow, sunshine doing it's quiet, constant work...bright, golden life.
Louisa May Alcott's "Marmee" speaks a truth that goes deep and reveals a meaningful purpose that this wife and mommy has never pondered. That I am the sunshine-maker of my family. I am called to bring beauty and golden light that illuminates all that stand in my path. I am to bring warmth and sustenance and life to the ones in my charge. As the planets revolve around the sun, so my family does around me. They depend on me to love them, care for their basic needs, cheer them on at their baseball games, show patience while helping them with homework, greet him after a long day at work with a smile and a kiss, create a peaceful, safe, calm home where they feel loved and cherished...keeping them in perfect alignment. Life ebbs and flows and the sunshine-maker gives bright, golden life that sustains and nourishes.
But, again it's the 2nd half of that time-hewn wisdom that really hits me. And if you get dismal there is no fair weather. Me...if I get dismal? No fair weather? For all? I take this in and swallow hard knowing the truth of this bit of advice to a dear daughter. I don't have to think very hard to come up with an example from my own life where this has rung true...unfortunately. I've often had those clouds roll in to dim my sunshine. Oh sometimes it's a slow process, like on a bright, sunny day and as the afternoon comes you notice a few clouds that weren't there in the morning, a little bummed at a few clouds blocking the sun, but no bother, all is still well, still managing to enjoy the sun despite a few clouds. But then you wake the next day and the clouds have gathered in full force overnight and the light of the sun has been completely shut out and gloom has set in. Other times it's sudden. Sunshine bright, winds begin to pick up, then go to whipping, then full on black ominous clouds and the sky breaks open all dark and wet and loud and scary, not a comforting, golden ray in sight. Slow and silent or sudden and startling; I've experienced both come over this sunshine-maker. And I know the ones revolving around me have felt it, the golden warm light go out. With the clouds come the tears, the frustration, the anger, the sadness, the ambivalence, the desolation.
But how do I do this? How can I take up this responsibility of shining the golden, guiding, warmth upon my family when I don't always feel that way? This seems too hard...asking too much. Then a small voice inside speaks to my heart and I realize, that as I am the sunshine-maker to those in my charge, who revolve around me for sustenance and life, Jesus must be the
sunshine-maker in my life, me all revolved around Him for my sustenance and life. What He gives I soak in like warm, comforting rays on bare skin. Those rays caress and soften my hard heart and cause me to light up and make sun for my family. Mine is to soak Him up so they can soak Him up through me. Sonshine Maker lights this sunshine-maker and all is well.
So take a little time to soak up some Sonshine today.
And go ahead and linger. Don't worry about overdoing it.
His rays never burn. Let Him light you up to shine today, sunshine-maker.